Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates and Pistachios
As far as chicken dishes go, this one, studded with carrots, dates and pistachios, is about as festive as they get. The dates and honey make it a natural for Rosh Hashanah, but it would be just as welcome at a Purim, Chanukah or Shabbat meal. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. Everything gets mixed together simply in a bowl, combined in a zip-top bag to marinate in the refrigerator and then baked on a sheet pan.
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 6 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks and breasts)
- 3 cups ¼-inch sliced carrots
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced dried dates
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- 2 scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced, for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped salted pistachios, for garnish
- In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme and salt. Place the chicken, carrots, onions and dates in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and seal shut. Massage to make sure everything is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the bag on a rimmed sheet pan to protect against leakage and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set an oven rack in the middle position. Transfer all ingredients from the bag, including the marinade, to a rimmed sheet pan (do not line the pan with foil). Turn the chicken skin side up. Roast until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. About halfway through cooking, stir the carrots so that they don’t burn around the edges of the pan. Turn on broiler (leave pan on middle rack), and cook 1 to 3 minutes more, or until skin is golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully: the honey in the marinade can cause the skin to burn quickly! Transfer the chicken, carrots, onions and dates onto a platter, along with the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley, scallions and pistachio nuts over top and serve.
- Adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe in the New York Times.